I was going to write a post about the backlash against Twitter, in the wake of a number of posts touting its performance in early coverage of the horrible Chinese earthquake.
But I largely don’t have to, because Mathew Ingram beat me to it:
I don’t think anyone is saying — as Kaiser puts it at the end of his post — that this episode saw Twitter “drive a nail in the coffin of traditional media.” If anyone is saying that, then they are stupid or being inflammatory. The point is not that anything is driving a nail into something else; it’s that new tools are emerging that can be used to some benefit.
Actually, my post was going to take a slightly different tack: Twitter (and the many other ways information now spreads) is valuable to journalists but it’s even more valuable to those of us seeking information. The common argument against Twitter, IM and all the rest is that while they can provide information, they can’t provide context and depth. But when news breaks, it’s information that I want, not the narrative-nutgraf stories and not the context. The steady flow of information as the story develops is what I’m looking for (and that steady flow carries with it a lot of the context that some newspaper reporters insist only they can provide).
Note: For another take on how Twitter can help spread information, read Myanmar: Twittering the cyclone disaster at Global Voices.
Currently playing in iTunes: Hale’iwa Hula by Amy Hanaialii Gilliom